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Succession at Celtic

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I have no doubt this morning’s press reports on Celtic’s plans for the months ahead are correct.  We are told the club “is planning an overhaul of their football operations in the summer that would see significant changes to their set-up.”  There is a great deal you can surmise from that statement.

“Overhaul… of football operations”, “significant changes”, leaves zero doubt Neil Lennon will be moving on and suggests wider changes are likely.  It is also safe to assume Neil is on-board with this and has agreed to remain in charge until the end of the season, or a suitable replacement arrives.

Neil would not go through this torture were it not out of a sense of responsibility towards the players, several of whom he personally convinced to stay for this ‘important season’.  Malicious talk of holding out for a payoff is well wide of the mark.

What is also clear is that Celtic are not happy to appoint any manager who is prepared to come to the club right now.  This precludes those out of work, or those who are not prepared to ‘Do a Brendan’ and leave their current project with trophies still to be won and lost.

The new industry is not always as helpful.  Last night reports that betting was suspended on Eddie Howe getting the job received plenty of clicks.  Eddie has his eyes on a different target and will almost certainly pick up an English Premiership job this year.  He is as likely to come to Celtic as another fantasy appointment, Mauricio Pochettino, was, before choosing Paris when he could have made his home in Glasgow.  If only it was that easy.

If we take the ‘Get real’ suggestions off the table, I know the photo fit you are working with.  Someone who has over-performed in a different environment, who is technically razor sharp and can bring knowledge of a value market.

They will have a successful track record, one that is short enough that they have not already moved up the food chain, but one longer than Ronny Deila’s mercurial rise at Stromsgodset.  We now know that the skills required to achieve one season of spectacular success is Norway does not automatically equip a manager for what on paper looks an easier task.  The Goldilocks candidate, enough of a spectacular record, but not too much that they have already got their move.

The quick fix if Neil leaves is John Kennedy as interim or someone, like Ronny, who cannot believe he’s been offered the Celtic job.  Or let Neil complete the season and attempt to add the Scottish Cup and leave his second term trophy report reading 6 out of 8.  I am not recommending either option, it’s too complicated to sit on the outside and suggest a fix with any conviction – not matter how convinced this is an easy one, it’s not.

If Neil remains until the end of the season it will not be because he needs the money, or because he deserves the respect of a Celtic hero (although he does), it is because the business of succession has to be settled.  My preference would be to spend these months doing reconnaissance; better to do it right than to do it early, but the galleries have loved a blood letting since the Colosseum, we know how it works.

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  1. CELTIC40ME:

     

     

    What do we achieve? We make it clear that a failure of this scale, and on this level, is not acceptable to this club. We start setting standards again. Appoint an interim whilst we start the hunt.

     

     

    This “wait until better candidates are available” is a red herring as well. It’s an excuse for doing nothing. There are managers who are out of work who are light years ahead of the guy in the dugout right now. That’s just those who are out of jobs.

     

     

    Are some of the managers we want going to be available in the summer? Why are our choices necessarily going to be better? It’s not just a gamble, it’s lunatic risk taking.

     

     

    The scale of the job we’re ALREADY facing in the summer, even if we had a manager in place RIGHT NOW, is daunting. We could spend the whole summer searching for “the right man” … and so many, many, many other tasks are not going to get done.

     

     

    It is absolutely nonsensical.

  2. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Some might say taking £30M in season book money then serving up this calamitous shitshow of a season, whilst remaining silent is inexcusable.

     

     

    Those same people might take umbrage at the only hint of club strategy being expressed via red tops and favoured blogs.

     

     

    Those same people might be affronted at the remuneration of those responsible for this dire set of circumstances and question their continuing role in charting the future.

     

     

    Some may have lost confidence in those now exposed as straw men.

     

     

    But those people would spoiled, entitled, unconscionable huns in my book.

     

     

    PS Those people might agree that Lenny is indeed a Celtic hero, hung out to dry as a convenient scapegoat by the real culprits. Shame on those people.

  3. JAMES FORREST on 22ND JANUARY 2021 12:53 PM

     

     

    I don’t think you’ve really understood the context of Keynes’s quote.

  4. glendalystonsils on

    To preclude ALL currently out of work managers?

     

     

    That is some sweeping statement .

     

     

    Unless of course the board know who they want and the candidate still has unfinished business this season .

     

    Maybe wait until Mr X’s last game then catch him in the showers?

  5. Go tell the Spartim on

    Compound our errors? You mean like keeping NL on long by his sell by date

     

    Honestly can’t believe people believe this pish, but hey ho

     

     

    Only now they’re looking at changing the structure, highlights their ineptitude

     

     

    Enjoy the totally avoidable decline

  6. Didn’t think I could feel any worse but those words from Paul have almost tipped me over the edge. Are we to believe ‘these months doing reconnaissance”, – whats been happening since Ferencvaros, Sparta, Huns games…..smacks of we don’t have a clue if true.

     

    I heard Alex Neill is lined up a while back and am a bit more convinced after reading that – nothing against him but am not sure what the question is if he or Jack Ross is the answer.

  7. CELTIC40ME:

     

     

    I understand that I didn’t quote Keynes. The quote attributed to him talks about facts, not circumstances, and it’s not even clear that he was the one who said it. A lot of people mistakenly attribute it to Churchill, who definitely said it but nicked it from somewhere.

     

     

    And in the context he used it, I understand just fine.

     

     

    Blow smoke as much as you want. I’ve answered your question. Play your wee word games as you like. I’m disavowing my previous support for Lennon the man, because things have changed. Simple as that. Like any relationship, when it’s over it’s over.

  8. Go tell the Spartim on

    Ernie

     

     

    He’s probably got money on it, I know I would if I had his money it’d be like printing your own.

     

     

    As an aside who is confident NL can get us second, I’m on the fence, much like Zidane he relies on having better players, that ain’t working

  9. JAMES FORREST on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:00 PM

     

    CELTIC40ME:

     

     

     

    What do we achieve? We make it clear that a failure of this scale, and on this level, is not acceptable to this club. We start setting standards again.

     

     

    With respect, that’s just empty words. We get better by appointing the best manager we can in the summer.

     

     

    Appointing an interim carries its own risks. Change for changes sake gives us a bit of relief for a week or two but we’ve still got nearly half a season to go, finding and appointing an interim isn’t as easy as you’re making out

     

     

    Acting in anger, out of anger, as angry as you have said you are is a dangerous thing to do

  10. GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:07 PM

     

    Compound our errors? You mean like keeping NL on long by his sell by date

     

     

     

    If you want to use that as an example of an error then yes.

  11. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    KELVINBHOY on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:09 PM

     

    I heard Alex Neill is lined up a while back

     

     

    ==================

     

     

    Think I recall something a few months ago (although there have been a few speculated about).

     

     

    If true – still sticking with the tried and tested “needs to be a Celtic man” approach to management selection.

     

     

    Really narrows the field.

     

     

    HH

     

    BGFC

  12. So the club “is planning an overhaul of their football operations in the summer…”

     

     

    As many ask, why not scanning and planning already, for enactment as soon as practicable!

     

    Course, if they don’t start listening to the foment from the greatest fans in the world (sic) they’ll need an overhaul of their customer relations, food & beverage, merchandising, marketing, security etc ops, too.

     

     

    Still fond of Lenny and am already at the Acceptance stage of the DABDA model; a choice I highly recommend.

     

    KUBLERROSSCSC

  13. CELTIC40ME on 22ND JANUARY 2021 12:48 PM

     

     

    Happen to agree, it’s too late for radical change if things were continuing long term we’d be bumping about signing more projects and loans like Shane Duffy ( bless the Big man ) They’ve written off the season, getting someone that can catch Sevco anytime soon, isn’t an option, whether they can manage it in time for next season is already the question, but not as big a question as who makes the changes, and what they are.

     

     

    However, the difficulty with this public capitulation is the balance between the cost of a ‘Pass to Paradise’ and its “value for money” weighed against the continued employment of an unpopular head coach.

     

     

    Jam tomorrow CSC

  14. The custodians of Celtic take the season ticket money then hide behind the COVID pandemic.

     

    They are cowards one and all

     

    Send the season tickets back and ask for a refund .

  15. Go tell the Spartim on

    Celtic40me

     

     

    Cheap shot, apologies are offered, understand I’d they’re rebuffed

  16. CELTIC40ME:

     

     

    Who’s acting in anger? Do you believe in Celtic exceptionalism? That we are better than other clubs?

     

     

    Because other clubs, when they see failure on this scale, sack their managers.

     

     

    It is not “panic” or “acting out of anger” to want to restore standards to our club. It is not “panic” or “acting out of anger” to realise that waiting until MAY before we start making the changes that EVERYONE KNOWS ARE NEEDED is utter lunacy.

  17. For fek sake. If this is true. What a total disaster. I have great respect for Neil, what he has done for MY club as a player and manager. But the shoite we are in requires for him to go NOW. END OFF. As for Pedro he can get to fek as well.

  18. Garngad to Croy on

    Paul67

     

     

    It’s not like you to talk about replacement managers whilst there is a sitting Celtic manager in charge, what do you know Paul ? ;-)

  19. Is Lawell part of football operations?

     

     

    The succession planning should have started after Lennon got free reign to put his stamp on the team in summer 2019 (he said himself that the 2019 league run in was to provide leadership and retain the existing style, team etc)

     

     

    We looked a complete mess in the Qualifiers and my dummy was spat out after Cluj. Not just the team/tactics etc but the arrogant lack of remorse.

     

     

    The mistake was obvious then. We played poorly to Christmas and then we improved. Huns collapsed points wise but who knows what the last 8 games would have brought

     

     

    This season we all know about.

     

     

    PS

     

    I noticed Sky had 3 SPFL ‘Old Firm’ highlights on last night. All victories for the huns. If they didn’t like us before, they certainly don’t after Monday

     

    I looked up the report on one of those games – 2-4 Ibrox 2011

     

     

    We lost a goal at a corner

     

     

    Defence in disarray

     

     

    Lennon said

     

    “We lost a physical battle out there,” said Lennon. “People not doing their jobs cost us again. I don’t want to question the players’ character but I had to ask that question after the game.”

     

     

    Plus ce change………..

  20. Pingback: Succession at Celtic | Celtic FC News Now

  21. Top international companies start succession planning as soon as someone is appointed to a senior position. This goes all the way to the top of the shop, including the CEO. Indeed, the more senior the role, the more pressing the h NJ we’d to have those plans in place.

     

     

    Celtic Football Club is primarily a business in the eyes of our majority shareholder, Chairman and CEO.

     

     

    This sits uneasily with the more altruistic among the support and shareholders, myself included.

     

     

    We are also one of the most poorly run and managed businesses I know of. That should concern the capitalists and idealists in equal measure.

     

     

    Not a thin dime more from me unless the changes are root and branch.

     

     

    HH jg

  22. BIG GEORGES FAN CLUB – HAIL, HAIL, WEE OSCAR on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:14 PM

     

     

    Need to break that cycle across all areas of football department. Nothing against Darren O’Dea or Stephen McManus but should we not be aiming higher for those who are developing our young players.

  23. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “He is as likely to come to Celtic as another fantasy appointment, Mauricio Pochettino, was, before choosing Paris when he could have made his home in Glasgow. If only it was that easy.”

     

     

    Obviously changed times since this:

     

    https://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/we-are-celtic-ambition/

     

    Some weeks ago I heard Peter Lawwell talk about the difficulty of landing a top tier manager in our current environment, however, he finished with a positive “But we are Celtic”. People want to come here; managers, players, even tourists. For all the Scottish game’s limits, we are Celtic, let’s not forget.

     

    ——-

     

    A big club, great opportunity to win trophies and Champions League football. A very attractive carrot.

     

    Maybe it isn’t Scottish football that is putting prospective candidates off. Maybe it’s something else?

     

    Of course if you leave succession planning until it’s so late not only will you have less options, but what you are offering is less enticing.

     

    We should have a list of candidates we are keeping track of on an on-going basis. There’s absolutely no excuse for getting caught on the hop every single time. Other clubs seem to manage to make changes without needing months. Yet we seem to be stuck on the same names every time.

     

    Then again when your football operations are run by non-football people it maybe isn’t so surprising.

  24. BOURNESOUPRECIPE on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:17 PM

     

     

    There’s the rub. But future success takes precedence, I would have thought.

  25. A complete overhaul of the club is much needed and we certainly shouldn’t rush to appoint a new permanent manager. However form over an extended period shows that Neil Lennon cannot remain in post and needs replaced immediately. It’s obvious we are not turning any corners and NL cannot sort out the glaring problems with the side, motivate the players or address tactical deficiencies. If we continue in the form that we have shown since October we will struggle to even finish 2nd and secure the runner up CL qualification spot. Also each passing week and further embarrassment drains morale and good will from the fans which is already at a generational low. This will have severe financial repercussions in the summer when it comes to season book renewals.

     

    For me that means we need to relieve Neil Lennon of his post immediately and bring in a temporary appointment until the end of the season. Someone that can come in steady the ship, organise the side and get the best out of the players to have a decent 2nd half of the season. Someone like Gordon Strachan would do a job in my opinion.

  26. JAMESGANG on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:22 PM

     

    Top international companies start succession planning as soon as someone is appointed to a senior position

     

     

    Appointing a football manager is different. It just is

  27. JAMES FORREST on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:20 PM

     

     

    Telling someone to GTF is the definition of acting out of anger

  28. Paul 67

     

    ‘…..several of whom he personally convinced to stay for this ‘important season…’

     

    You are calling Lennon a liar. He stated after the Ferencvaros loss that several players didn’t want to be at the club.

     

    ‘… malicious talk of holding out for a payoff is well wide of the mark…’

     

    Aye, and pigs will fly.

     

    That is insulting to the intelligence.

     

    ‘.. Eddie has his eyes on a different target and will almost certainly pick up an English Premiership job this year. He is as likely to come to Celtic as another fantasy appointment, Mauricio Pochettino, was, before choosing Paris when he could have made his home in Glasgow. If only it was that easy..’

     

    This is where you copy and pasted Lawwell’s brief to you.

     

    He is the master of reducing expectation to zero, how we can’t compete with any big club..well, except for his salary and bonus of course.

  29. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Cheers Pablo,

     

     

    If this piece was intended to put context around its title “Succession at Celtic” and to de-bunk some assertions about Neil Lennon’s motives for staying in his job temporarily then it works for me.

     

     

    Am not saying I am happy with where we are nor am I convinced about a successful recruitment outcome being achieved.

     

     

    But it provides context around the scale and nature of the challenge.

     

     

    Liked this bit …

     

     

    “I am not recommending either option, it’s too complicated to sit on the outside and suggest a fix with any conviction”

     

     

    But judging by some (NOT ALL) of the first ten comments?

     

     

    It fell on deaf ears.

     

     

    Hail hail

     

     

    Keep The Faith

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